By John BIGGS -DAVISON, M.P.
TASK FOR GIANTS, by The Hon. Patrick Maitland, M.P., Master of Lauderdale. (Longmans 42s.).
riEDICA I ED to Our Lady of -1-0 Walsingham, this is a useful, readable, and scholarly work. The style is marred only by such solecisms as "Britishers" and "win out". A map and statistics about the Commonwealth are appended. The book is attractively produced.
One of the chapter headings is " Independence Plus." It was thus that in 1947 a former Prime Minister of New Zealand described the status of the British Dominions. Their equality with the United Kingdom had already been defined in the Balfour formula of 1926.
That and the Statute of Westminster were for a time thought the final word in constitutional flexibility. Men held that allegiance to the Crown was essential to membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Yet in 1949 the Dominion of India became a Republic within the Commonwealth. This is an idea to be considered on both sides of the Irish Sea! Now Malaya has gained Independence within the Commonwealth under an elective Constitutional Monarchy. Yet there were those who said that though Republics which acknowledged Queen Elizabeth as Head of the Commonwealth could be accepted an outside Monarchy could not be included.
wELL might General Smuts in a
speech at Westminster in 1917 describe the changing Empire as a "dynamic evolving system always going forward to new destinies." Ours is indeed an Expanding Commonwealth.
General Smuts spoke again at Westminster in 1943. He outlined an association between the British World system and the "smaller Democracies in Western Europe which by themselves may he lost."
The Master of Lauderdale is Chairman of the Expanding Corn